Country Ham with Redeye Gravy

Main Course

Recipe adapted from of The South The Beautiful Cookbook

Serves 4

  • 1 pound country ham, sliced thin
  • 2 slices thick slab bacon, if necessary (see note)
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 1 tablespoon strong black coffee
  • Grits (your favorite preparation) for serving
  • Manhatten Jack Buttermilk Biscuits for serving

Country Ham with Redeye Gravy


Click image to enlarge.



(If you're using regular cured ham rather than old-fashioned true Country Ham (very salty) you may omit soaking the ham overnight; proceed as directed in all other steps.)

Trim the fat from the ham and reserve. Cut each ham slice into quarters, each about 3 by 4 inches. Place the ham in a large bowl, cover with cold water, and refrigerate overnight.

Before cooking, drain, rinse, and pat the ham dry. In a large cast iron skillet, fry the reserved ham fat and bacon (if your ham does not yield enough fat to render at least 2 tablespoons of fat) until browned and crispy. Transfer the browned pieced to paper towels to drain.

Working in batches, fry the ham in a single layer, turning occasionally, until well browned on both sides. As each batch is finished, remove to paper towels to drain, and keep warm.

Remove the skillet from heat and carefully drain off all but one tablespoon of the fat. Return to medium heat and stir in the sugar. Cook, stirring constantly, until the sugar has dissolved and begins to caramelize, about 30 seconds.

Immediately add the lukewarm water to the skillet and stir until well blended. Cook for 1 minute, stirring and scraping the bottom of the skillet to loosen any browned bits. Add the tablespoon of coffee to the skillet and stir until well blended.

To serve, divide the ham among 4 plates and ladle the gravy over. As pictured, served with grits and cornbread; we prefer fluffy buttermilk biscuits.

Louisiana Recipes Weekly


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